A young woman, a flight officer has been alerted to go to Flight Deck. There she immerses herself in a bath like receptacle that fits around her body. She plugs herself into a neural interface, and does it wirelessly.
She will push no buttons. Thinking out a series of codes, the UAV Interface reads her brainwaves, and micro-expressions in her face. She orders the UAV to taxi and warm up and run a diagnostic on flight, object recognition, tracking and fire control systems. The UAV is in Maritius. She is in Indiana.
Soon she will be flying.
Not her, exactly.
But she will be flying a remote control command craft. She will feel and experience the flight as if she were in the plane. She will have the illusion that she is flying and watching the mission unfold through a transparent touch screen.
That is what it will feel like to her.
On a small remotely controlled carrier across the world, an unmanned aerial vehicle launches and climbs into the sky.
She sees her assignment in front of her. Pirates have ambushed a billionaire’s uber yacht outside the Comoros Islands and they are pursuing her. A Russian billionaire is on board and he would make great ransom. They will overtake it in 45 minutes. The first target acquisition opportunity is 38 minutes out. She increases speed to 1000 knots, streams her data to a command center in Tampa. Battle planners wordlessly communicate with her and allow her the independence to decide which way to follow the mission. They will have other options if she cannot reach them in time.
She decides to fly to within 10 nautical miles and burn a hole through the ship to cut the transmission. The engine will run but the propeller will go dead. The best option would be to hit the main power plane, but satellite data say it has a modern collective solar aggregator mounted to on the bridge. So the whole ship is a solar cell.
These Pirates are stateless. They have no religion except money and fear. They came out of nowhere and they are far better equipped than the Dhow driving pirates of the turn of the century. These pirates have purloined a Cold War era Slava Class Soviet Missile cruiser, one that has been up-engined by mercenary mechanics. Now, at 35 knots, it is 20 minutes away from target acquisition.
Just in case the shot doesn’t work, she thinks out another series of coded words and two small ramjet missiles launch. Created in Israel, these missiles eject behind the UAV to avoid drag that would slow the mission. In mid air, stabilizers pop out and lock into place and ramjet engines power up and drive the depleted uranium warheads up to speeds of better than 3000 knots. It’ll hit the pirates about two minutes before she does. Guided by military GPS good to within a centimeter, the mini missiles are signal silent until they hit.
Four minutes to target.
On board Le Mignionette, families are crying. Mothers and fathers are in the hold, trying to calm children. Two drunk Russian guests are sobering up quickly. And a tight crew, all former French Marines are working in the bridge to stay ahead of the pirates. What no one knows, is that if the pirates reach the yacht, they will likely be at the business end of weapons wielded by these deck hands who are quite blooded veterans. Two of them are Legionnaires.
Two minutes to target.
The Pirates are now in site, aft of the yacht. They launch a modified S-300 missile. It pops into the air out of the missile canisters and the rocket engines explode behind it moving it 2300 knots.
Seconds later two depleted uranium warheads fired by the UAB slam into the sides of the cruiser. One ignites the hydraulic fluid in the transmission. Another destroys a five inch gun and explodes its weapons.
Scratched, slowed by five knots, the cruiser speeds on.
The S-300 becomes the first target of choice now. The pilot thinks out a series of codes and the 4000 kilowatt laser locks onto the missile. Powers up. Lasing frequency burn for one second. The S-300 is sliced in half, and two burning cylinders cartwheel through the air and into the sea.
One minute out.
The pilot decides to hit the target 60 seconds ahead of optimum target acquisition parameters. The weapon interface reads her inbcresed blood pressure and respiration. She is frustrated. The laser fires a two second blast. It cuts through the bridge, killing the captain and destroying the fire control radar processor.
Still travelling at 30 knots, only three nautical miles behind Le Mignionette, the cruiser recklessly pursues her.
The pilot executes a two second burn into the starboard gunwhale. The beam hits the ammo cache. The cruiser explodes. The conning towers wheel into the air, the bow dips into the ocean and the ship violently comes to a halt in the pounding waves. Smoke and flames waft in dark blossoming clouds over the waters around the ship. The sea is on fire. A few people are swimming and a few are in life rafts. The pilot orders a general rescue mission. Already on the way are two French rescue helicopters.
Le Mignionette comes to a full stop and they wait for French authorities to be debriefed.
The mission brief is relayed back to the command center. The pilot orders the UAV to return to base. She is given the day off.
Sources: Photo X Planes